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Syria crisis: how we got here and where do we go next?

Syria crisis: how we got here and where do we go next?

Volunteer first responders and activists said a chemical attack by the Syrian government killed more than 40 people in the town of Douma, which drew global outrage and prompted Washington and its allies to consider a military response. British officials said up to 75 people were killed.

"We are continuing to asses intelligence and are engaged in conversations with our partners and allies", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Thursday, noting Trump's calls with May and Macron.

A team of inspectors from the worldwide chemical weapons watchdog is travelling to Syria to begin an investigation into the suspected chemical weapons attack. Syria's civil war, which began as a popular uprising against Assad, is now in its eighth year.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis (C) listens as US President Donald Trump receives a briefing from senior military leaders regarding Syria, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, on April 9, 2018. "On a strategic level - is how do we keep this from escalating out of control", he said.

At a congressional hearing in Washington, defence secretary General James Mattis also signalled caution, saying the president had not yet decided whether military force would be part of the USA response in Syria. Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday, vowing that "smart" missiles "will be coming".

Later Thursday he was noncommittal. "We hope there will be no point of no return".

United States officials also told NBC that "they have evidence from countries, including images, that indicate the Syrian government was behind [the attack]".

Trump had on Monday warned of a quick, forceful response once responsibility for the attack was established.

A USA official told Reuters the strikes were aimed at multiple targets and involved Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The Russian military today said it had proof that an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria's Eastern Ghouta was staged on orders from London.

And after being criticized for telegraphing an expected retaliatory military strike, Trump tweeted that he "never said when an attack on Syria would take place".

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says the use of chemical weapon against civilians in a Damascus suburb is "unforgivable" but says Turkey is urging all sides to refrain from actions that will cause further turmoil in Syria.

More news: Apple Comes Down Hard On Leakers

Konashenkov claimed Britain had told the White Helmets, who serve as first-responders in rebel-held areas, to fake the attack in the town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta. A spokesman for President Vladimir Putin said the strike dealt a "significant blow to relations between Russian Federation and America, which are already in a poor state".

The samples suggested the presence of both chlorine gas and an unnamed nerve agent, two officials said.

According to a New York Times report on Tuesday evening, the administration may strike multiple targets over multiple days.

Moscow and Damascus have invited the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to send a fact-finding mission to Douma and investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons there.

In another clear signal at military planning, CNBC reported that the United States "was considering striking eight potential targets".

Zasypkin also said a clash between Russian Federation and the United States over Syria "should be ruled out and therefore we are ready to hold negotiations". "We are very concerned when a thing like that can happen".

Yeah, we're just as confused, too.

"We can not exclude any possibilities, unfortunately, because we saw messages that are coming from Washington". More broadly, he doubted the wisdom of bombing.

The US and France said they had proof it took place and, alongside the United Kingdom, were considering military retaliation. "We know a chemical weapon was used".

President Trump has also tweeted "Get ready Russian Federation, because they [missiles] will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'"

Russian lawmakers have warned the United States that Moscow would view an airstrike on Syria as a war crime, even as Donald Trump appeared to confirm he was planning military action. "We will not leave our houses and our army is ready to retaliate".

One woman who refused to be identified because of fear for her security described herself as "trembling" and said she stocked up on food and is considering not sending her kids to school.


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